Nine new short-track events approved at ISU Congress
Nine new international short-track speed skating events have been approved here today, including madison, points, pursuit and elimination competitions.
In a new programme which bears distinct similarities with events held in both long-track speed skating and in track cycling, all the additional events can be held over varying distances at international competitions, it was decided during the 2016 International Skating Union (ISU) Congress in Croatia.
This includes the mixed team relay which has already made a successful debut at age group level during February's Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer.
Also to be added are an unspecified team competition, as well as a points competition, an elimination competition, a combined points elimination competition, a pursuit competition, a team madison relay competition, a Nations Trophy and a win and out competition.
It is not yet clear exactly how these would all work, but they have been introduced with the aim of generating excitement and boosting television audiences. A madison is a pairs event where riders switch in a rotating relay format, while an elimination race is included within the omnium format, with the slowest racer being ousted at regular intervals until only one is left.It is not yet clear if or when these events will be added to the World Cup and World Championship short-track programmes, with it likely they will be tested at a lower level first.In order for them to be held, an "application must be sent in advance to the ISU Technical Committee, and the approval of the Committee must be obtained". A report must then be submitted on the success of the innovation afterwards. (Butler, www.insidethegames.biz)